It might be hard to imagine but there was a time not so long ago when you didn’t know how many steps you had walked at the end of each day or you couldn’t answer your phone through your watch.
Wearable technology has changed the world forever. It has completely revolutionised how we work, exercise and even rest. It has taken things that we thought could only exist in sci-fi movies and made them an everyday reality.
In this blog post, we examine just a few of the ways (good and bad) that wearable tech has changed our everyday lives.
The healthcare industry is investing heavily in wearable technology development. This technology has the potential to save lives and also help medical professionals to do their job day in and day out.
Probably the best-known example of this is the Fitbit. The touchscreen wristwatch not only tracks your steps and sleep, it also monitors your heart rate. In fact, ER doctors and nurses are using patient’s Fitbits data to help treat them.
Other devices such as SunFriend monitor our exposure to the sun in a bid to control UV exposure, while a small device called PIP can track your stress levels and help you to develop anxiety coping mechanisms. Wearable tech is allowing people to monitor their own health care and look after their wellbeing.
There are dozens of charity apps that allow users to donate for free through wearable technology. Users can pick a charity and raise money for them with actions like walking, running or cycling. It really is that simple.
On the Charity Miles app, bikers earn 10 cents per mile, while walkers and runners earn 25 cents per mile. All these micro-donations can add up to make a huge contribution. Plus it’s a great way to do good while you work up a sweat.
Increased workplace safety
According to the World Economic Forum, 2 million people die at work every year. In Ireland alone, 47 people died from workplace accidents in 2017. Clearly, it is a massive problem. However, wearable technology has the potential to make workplaces safer for all employees.
For example, the Apple Watch has already made it easier to answer phone calls on the road as it enables hands-free conversation. Other devices can monitor employees vital signs and can even tell when they have fallen over. In response, they will alert the employer to their location using a GPS tracking system.
Wearables have a wide range of features that deliver increased productivity. A recent study by Office Genie found that 36% of employees believe that wearables increase office output.
They can do this in many ways. Wearable devices allow employees to quickly get alerted to issues and concerns, they can be in constant communication with their co-workers and they are also free to move around and use both their hands in more physically demanding jobs.
Promotes an always-on culture
The benefits of wearable technology are plentiful. However, that doesn’t mean that these new products do not have a downside. Prominent thinkers and behavioural psychologists have warned that wearable tech can create an always-on culture.
Research suggests that the average person already checks their phone every six and a half minutes. When you connect to your phone through your smart watch or even a smart ring are you ever giving yourself the chance to unwind and switch off? Are you constantly tuned in and waiting to connect?
Do the benefits of wearable tech outweigh the negatives? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter.